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1992-93 Erie Sailors (Ebbets Field Flannels)

Welcome to the third––and perhaps final––Keystone State Party post, folks! After neglecting to discuss the nautical components of last week's Erie SeaWolves logo design, I've decided to dive right into examining the maritime theme in this Erie Sailors retro cap from Ebbets Field Flannels that I've selected for this week's Fresh Fitted Friday post.

Incorporating the baseball into the ship's wheel tie-in to Erie's deep naval history, especially when one considers Erie's role in the War of 1812, and more specifically the Battle of Lake Erie. In fact, the town's first known and recorded baseball team in 1906 was called the Erie Sailors.

A cap that encapsulates the proud naval tradition of this fine nation deserves nothing less than Ebbets Field Flannel's "Made in U.S.A." construction. Their faithful reproductions and attention to detail in workmanship is what every cap maker should strive to emulate. 

The shade of green featured on the undervisor here is magnificent and that crisp white sweatband is force that is begging me to finally pop the tags and start wearing this cap!

I used a Fredi Gonzalez card in a previous post for the Greensboro Grasshoppers so I figured it would be fun to show this autographed card from 1992 which was when was Erie's manager during their inaugural season. I just went back and looked at that post and I even mentioned his managerial career in the Marlins farm system back then!

I've mentioned this previously many times before but I'm so thankful for the quality products that Ebbets Field Flannels has produced over the years. While their cap releases have not been as frequent during the pandemic, I have full faith that they'll bounce back stronger than ever. 

My only hope is that they capitalize on the demand for gems from the 1980's and 90's by releasing more caps like this one which came out out of their collaboration with Lids in 2017. I'm glad I stocked up on many of those hats because procuring this week's cap in the vintage variety would be next to impossible considering it was only worn from 1992-93.

Another cap that I wrote about recently that was only used for two seasons was the Central Valley Rockies. While the CV Rockies played in the Class-A Advanced California League, this incarnation of the Erie Sailors was a Class-A Short Season affiliate of the Florida Marlins in the New York-Penn League. 

Both were early affiliates of the 1993 MLB expansion teams but Erie shares an even more unique connection with the Bend RockiesColorado's the Class-A Short Season affiliate in the Pacific Northwest League. What separates Bend and Erie from all of the other affiliates in Class-A and above in 1992 is those two clubs had a parent team that had not yet played a game!

If you take a look at the List of minor league affiliate history for the Rockies you'll see that Bend was their only farm team that year while the only Marlins affiliate besides Erie was the rookie-level GCL Marlins. Bend and Erie filled an important role for the fledgling MLB teams as those two cities were the first landing spots for each major league team's 1992 amateur draft picks.

Check out this Miami Herald article from 2017 if you'd like to read more about that historical 1992 Sailors team. As of writing this, there hasn't been another MILB team to use the Sailors moniker and that's surprising as it seems like such a fitting name for a Mariners or Pirates affiliate especially for a team in a coastal town or one that is port-side like Erie is. 

I've always thought there should be teams out there named after classic boating terms but my favorite choice is one I suggested in a Staten Island Pizza Rats post last year: Staten Island Spinnakers. 

Sadly though, Staten Island's contract with their parent team in the Bronx will not be renewed for 2021 but hopefully the next team that plays in that waterfront ballpark takes on some sort of seafaring name as it would be complete missed opportunity not to.

In the meantime, I'd like to see the Columbus Clippers revive their old batting practice cap and incorporate a baseball into the design. And maybe add red stitching on the baseball so it's more noticeable? Ok, I think I've spent enough time trying to merge aquatic themes into my love of baseball logos! 

This week's Fresh Fitted Friday selection is not going on the Trading Block however please don't hesitate to reach out if you want any other cap from that list and you are willing to part with any of the hats on my Wish List.

As always, thanks for coming back to read about baseball hat geekery. I've got comments disabled here so if you'd like to discuss a trade or simply just chat about hats, please feel free to connect via the following social sites:

Twitter: @FittedFriday